How do Overseas applicants explain their grades

The Graduate


Hi there:

I was born and raised in South America and did all my studies over there, I have a BSc in Business Administration and 4+ years work experience in the banking and insurance field, and I’ve told by several agencies that none of this is recognised here as I don’t have any UK or EU studies/work experience, therefore I’m willing to start from scratch and decided to apply to all the Graduate or Training vacancies. The thing is that when applying, I don’t know how to convert or explain my class degree, GCSE’s or A levels as my education was not measured by any of these qualifications during school or university.

Does anybody know how I can get around this, please let me know…

Thanks in advance for you help



I studied in Germany and applied to the big4 and on the application forms you don’t need to explain or convert any of your foreign grades/exams. There is usually a drop down menu, where you choose the country that you completed your exams in, then a further drop down menu, where you choose your school or university then another drop down menu where you choose your grades. If at any point your exam/ school/ university isn’t in the dro down menu you choose “other” and type it in box below. The company then converted the grades itself. Deloitte, however, did get back to me and asked for further information about the system in Germany.

I didn’t apply to any banks or insurance companies but I did have a look at some of the banks and they seemed to have similar applicaiton forms.

Sometimes it was a little confusing as the forms were designed for uk students but it wasn’t so difficult. You definately shouldn’t have to convert the grades yourself though. HR in most big companies does that for you.

Hope this helps1


Hi Cascolex. First up, take what agencies tell you with a pinch of salt. You probably could find work in the UK with foreign work experience - perhaps not at the larger firms, but I would think probably at smaller ones. You might want to try calling up firm’s HR and talking to them about your situation rather than talking to agencies, who have their own agenda a lot of the time.

Whya is right about all that regarding converting grades. Usually [[application forms]] sort it out for you. If they don’t, or you want assistance, call up specific firm’s HR to discuss what you should do (include your foreign qualifications or convert yourself to UK grades, etc).

What is the academic system in South Africa? - [ this table] might be useful. There is also a company who specialise in checking international grades and then providing certification of the authenticity of these grades to UK employers for a fee - unfortunately cannot find them right now, but will continue looking!

Good luck.



The company who specialises in converting grades is NARIC (I can’t remember what that stands for) and I think they charge about 80 pounds to convert a full university level transcript. I’m not sure for school certificates but they have a website with all the information you need. Again I can’t remember for sure but I think they give 2 or 3 copies for that price. The company is fairly well known within the UK and is used by universities and companies as well as individuals. If you’re applying for smaller companies or just to have in case anyone asks second questions, its probably worth it.


Thanks Whya. NARIC is the company.


Edit - misread original post


Thank you guys for your help, very appreciated…